The Edmond Sun

January 15, 2013

Council rezones area at Broadway and Covell for senior duplexes

James Coburn
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — The Edmond City Council agreed 5-0 this week to amend the Edmond Plan from office zoning to planned unit development for office and attached residential near Broadway and Covell Road.

Ron Walters Development LLC will market duplexes to senior citizens 55 years of age or older, said Bob Schiermeyer, city planner.

“It has no assisted living or nursing home. They’re all active, vibrant people in our market, ages 55 to 65,” said Randel Shadid, an attorney representing the developer.

The area is on the east side of Broadway, south of Covell Road. The owner of the property will continue to retain a parcel along Covell.

Some neighbors were concerned about their privacy with two-story duplexes and triplexes nearby. No two-story building would be nearer than 50 feet from the Rock Hollow property line, Shadid said. One-story buildings would be set back a minimum of 20 feet. The only entrance to this development will be from Broadway.

“With apartment complexes comes too much in and out. You don’t know who is there. You don’t know who lives in the apartments,” said Cathy Cornforth, representing her father.

Shadid said apartments have nothing to do with the project. They are duplexes and triplexes up to a fiveplex maximum, he added.

“My client has had a project in Moore for three years and has had three people move out,” Shadid continued.

Other residents feared the project would result in increased traffic.

“The one big concern that I have personally is the wetlands issue,” said Vern Choquette, representing two Rock Hollow homeowners associations. A natural spring flowed on the property until 2010, he said. Shadid argued the project does not have a wetlands issue.

“We believe there is 1.45 aces of wetlands on the property which is going to be filled. Of course, this is going to be protected under the Clean Water Act,” said Choquette, who said he is nationally recognized by the Corps of Engineers as a wetland expert. He said the city would be complicit if it allows the project to move forward.

City Engineer Steve Manek said city codes do not regulate wetlands. The site plan would determine how development would disturb the site, Manek said. The issue would need to be submitted for review by the Corps of Engineers and Fish and Wildlife Service, he said.

Schiermeyer said there is adequate time for the developer to indicate compliance with any federal requirements before the council considers the site plan.

Four office buildings with a maximum area of 18,000 square feet are planned on 1.59 acres to the front of the property, Schiermeyer said. Eighty-seven units for senior active living are planned on 10.18 acres to complete the project.

“Our project in Oklahoma City is all 55 and higher,” Shadid said. “This project will be a little higher income individual in our market.”

Rental expectations for the duplexes will be from $1,500 to $2,200 a month. Residents from the neighboring additions of Rock Hollow and Timberdale said they were concerned the senior living project would lower their property values.

The developer agreed that outdoor perimeter lighting would not be taller than the fence. An 8-foot stockade fence on the southern portion of the property will be maintained by the developer, Shadid said. Most of the units will have garages or carports.

A small water detention pond with landscaping is planned, Manek said. RW Development would like to visit with Rock Hollow homeowners about combining the project’s pond with an existing one in Rock Hollow, Shadid said.

“If that doesn’t work out we meet the city’s code for drainage and detention,” Shadid said.